Much Ado About Shakespeare: Macbeth, Othello and More Highlight 2013-14 Season
By Benjamin Solomon
Playbill.com presents a round-up of the many productions of works by William Shakespeare that will be presented in New York during the 2013-14 season.
For William Shakespeare "All the world's a stage." But lately all the stages seem to be Shakespeare's. The season will welcome several new productions of the Bard's work and there really is something for everyone, from big-budget Broadway spectacles to experimental international interpretations — not to mention performances by two of the greatest living Shakespearean actors of our day.
Click through to read an overview of the season's Shakespearean productions and what each of them has to offer New York audiences.
"I think Shakespeare's work is the perfect way to explore the issue of stop-and-frisk."
The New York Shakespeare Exchange brings a dash of youthful insight to the Bard's tale of jealousy and deceit. Cristina Lundy directs Terence MacSweeny as Iago and Keldrick Crowder as Othello in this downtown production which "transports the Moor of Venice to a world where stop-and-frisk can become the political issue of the day and innocent men are gunned down because of the color of their skin," said Ross Williams, NYSE's producing artistic director. shakespeareexchange.org
I'd rather watch "Orange is the New Black" than some old Renaissance drama.
Another Shakespeare import from London, the Donmar Warehouse's all-female Julius Caesar is set in a women's prison and uses Shakespeare's take on the Roman history to look at female incarceration — just like your favorite Netflix drama! Directed by Phyllida Lloyd, of Mamma Mia! and "The Iron Lady" fame, the production has received wide acclaim, especially for Harriet Walter as Brutus and Frances Barber as Caesar. stannswarehouse.org
I like my Shakespeare like I like my music: moody and alternative
Indie-film starlet Elizabeth Olsen stars in one of two stagings of Romeo and Juliet to hit theatres this fall. Up-and-coming director Tea Alagić gives the oft-produced play a contemporary re-imagining sure to fit in with the downtown crowd enthusiastic about the other Olsen sister's New York theatre debut. TV and film stars T.R. Knight and Daniel Davis round out the cast. classicstage.org
I was disappointed/confused by Julie Taymor's decision to direct Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark.
Thankfully, Julie Taymor's Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark debacle is behind her and she can get back to what she does best: Shakespeare. She'll inaugurate Theatre for a New Audience's beautiful new home in downtown Brooklyn, the Polonsky Shakespeare Center, with a production of the fantasy-filled comedy. This is Taymor's fourth Shakespeare for TFANA — two of which she later adapted into films — so many expect big things from her Midsummer. tfana.org
I like that Ethan Hawke is doing more horror movies now.
I just don't get why Shakespeare didn't write any musicals.
It is true Shakespeare didn't write any musicals, but that doesn't mean Shakespeare's verse hasn't been set to music. The Metropolitan Opera presents a new production of Giuseppe Verdi's comedic favorite, Falstaff, which the composer adapted from both The Merry Wives of Windsor and Henry IV. James Levine conducts Robert Carsen's lavish new production set in the mid-20th century English countryside, giving Verdi's final work a "Downton Abbey" spin. metoperafamily.org
The only Shakespeare I know is the Leonardo DiCaprio version of Romeo and Juliet.
So you avoided reading Shakespeare in high school by watching Baz Luhrmann's colorful 1996 adaptation starring heartthrob Leonardo DiCaprio? No problem! You'll likely get the same rush of emotion from "Lord of the Rings" star Orlando Bloom — and at least the same world-famous verse — in the Broadway production that presents the tale of star crossed lovers from warring families as a conflict along racial lines. Come for Bloom's lean muscled torso (yes, he takes off his shirt), and stay for the poetry of young love. romeoandjulietbroadway.com
Shakespeare should be performed as it was in Elizabethan times — with an all-male cast.
I'm sad I didn't get tickets to see Shakespeare in the Park.
The good news for anyone who couldn't wait in line to see The Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park? The Public does Shakespeare all year round. And while it's not free, this year's production, Antony & Cleopatra — co-produced with the Royal Shakespeare Company — is directed by playwright and MacArthur "Genius" Award-winner Tarell Alvin McCraney, who set his stripped-down version of the political tragedy in the Caribbean islands on the eve of revolution. publictheater.org
I wish Shakespearean drama was more like "Game of Thrones."
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